In this episode:
In the first part of the Future of Agri-food Series, we examined Canada’s opportunity to be the leader of a sustainable agri-food system. In this second session, we explore the role that regenerative agriculture can play in the transition to a more sustainable food system, and how the food industry and the financial sector can help incentivise and scale the adoption of more sustainable practices by producers. Over the course of an hour, our panelists tackle critical questions such as:
- Why is adopting regenerative farming practices important for the food industry?
- How can we better align finance and incentives for sustainable practices across the value chain?
- What are the key enablers to unlock investment at scale in sustainable and regenerative agriculture? What barriers need to be overcome?
- How can multi-sector partnerships like the new Canadian Alliance for Net-Zero Agriculture (CANZA) accelerate action and investment?
- How can the government’s new Sustainable Agriculture Strategy support private investment in sustainable agriculture?
For this discussion moderated by Bryan Benjamin, Executive Director of The Ivey Academy, we are joined by guests: John Uhren, Managing Director, Sustainable Finance at BMO Capital Markets; Charlie Angelakos, Vice President, Global External Affairs & Sustainability at McCain Foods Ltd.; and Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Associate Professor, Managerial Accounting and Control, General Management & Sustainability at Ivey Business School. Together, our panelists share their expertise on incentivizing and supporting farm suppliers to adopt regenerative practices and investing in sustainable agriculture, as well as unpack insights from a new Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value Report – Advancing Regenerative Agriculture in Canada: Barriers & Enablers.
Other ways to listen:
During the livestream event, we had many audience members asking questions in the Q&A chat. Below, Diane-Laure Arjaliès, Associate Professor, Managerial Accounting and Control, General Management & Sustainability at Ivey Business School; Jury Gualandris, Associate Professor, Operations Management & Sustainability and Faculty Director, Building Sustainable Value Centre; and Jean-François Obregón, Research Fellow at the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value, answer questions from the session.
Q: What does sustainable mean? What is your definition?
A: Beyond the practices, we define regenerative agriculture as a paradigm of farming. The overarching principle of regenerative agriculture is adopting farming principles that seek to enhance ecosystems. A regenerative model creates value through ecosystem regeneration, which supports farming practices through ecosystem services. In the report, we list many practices that can be considered regenerative and the differences with other definitions.
Q: Did you find any research indicating that farmland's market value will improve if regenerative agriculture is implemented?
A: There is no meta-analysis on the topic, but we found studies that show an increase in value, but they remain at a small scale level. Our next research project is to do a large-scale study to establish the potential for adoption and the impact of regenerative practices on the value chain.
Q: What are some specific strategies to “financialize” regenerative ag outcomes?
A: We listed a number of financial instruments that could be used to value regenerative agriculture - notably ecosystem services. Unfortunately, very few products are in use in Canada.
Q: Can the researchers comment on the French and German farmers' reaction to green government policy changes?
A: The French farmers are in the streets as we speak; they ask for more financial and government support to shift to regenerative agriculture. French farmers and citizens want the transition to go faster but maintain a good standard of living.
Q: How big an impact do you believe regenerative agriculture could have on CO2 emissions, and what can we do to ensure that emission reductions endure and carbon sequestered as permanently as possible?
A: Agriculture represents 10 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the GHG emissions associated with the broader agri-food system – including fertilizers, food production, transportation, processing, storage activities, and related energy use – are significantly greater (>16%). Under current 2030 projections by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the agri-food system will make limited progress in tackling emissions. Furthermore, 60 percent of Canada's food is wasted, resulting in an economic loss of $50 billion. The agri-food system continues to impact biodiversity and natural systems negatively. While the country is one of the world’s largest food exporters, millions of Canadians live in food insecure households.
Regenerative agriculture is circular and diversified. Circular agriculture connects actors such that the resources wasted by one actor (i.e. food by-products, under-utilized assets) can productively feed the processes of another, generating significant reductions in carbon emissions (up to 30% in the short term) (LaSalle & Hepperly, 2008; Jain & Gualandris, 2023) and increasing soils’ carbon sequestration potential (up to 30% in the long run) (FAO, 2014; Bach et al., 2020; Pahalvi et al., 2021).
Diversified agriculture: The diversification of production methods allows for a larger variety of crops,
produce, and livestock, with positive effects on soil and its ability to sequester carbon (Zomer et al., 2016; Teague et al., 2016).
Q: Are retail customers paying more for products that are produced using regenerative agricultural practices? Are retailers asking for certification for regenerative agriculture?
A: The research varies according to countries - The French for instance are more likely to pay for such products. In Canada, there is a Quebec study you can find, that we mentioned in our report. They show that in the current inflationary context, consumers are less likely to buy those (compared to the pandemic for instance).
Q: Does your work have quantitative assessments of the cost and payback of regenerative agriculture in particular situations? Is there a payback? If so, how long is it? Do you know for certain that this is not a transition that cannot be financed commercially without government subsidization?
A: We reviewed the existing literature on the topic. No meta-analysis leads to conclusive results. We list some successful case studies (e.g., Mc Cain, Alus) in the report. More info here:
The financial models on the economic returns of regenerative/sustainable agriculture are inconsistent for a number of reasons:
- Regenerative agriculture can have very different configurations depending on foods (types of crops, livestock etc.), climate and soils.
- Each configuration can generate diverse costs and delayed returns.
- Generally speaking, the few existing case studies suggest that regenerative agriculture can compete based on economies of scope (rather than economies of scale), with total cost per unit of output being competitive relative to monocropping
The economic models I have seen rarely consider the monetization of ecosystem services (carbon sequestration, water filtration, prevention of runoffs, etc.) or the subsidization of such services. The BSV Centre at Ivey is looking into these costs and potential revenue streams.
- Bach, E. M., Ramirez, K. S., Fraser, T. D., & Wall, D. H. (2020). Soil Biodiversity Integrates Solutions
for a Sustainable Future. Sustainability, 12(7), Article 7.
- LaSalle, T., & Hepperly, P. (2008). Regenerative organic farming: A solution to global warming. Rodale Institute, 1-13.
- Teague, W. R., Apfelbaum, S., Lal, R., Kreuter, U. P., Rowntree, J., Davies, C. A., ... & Byck, P. (2016).
The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture's carbon footprint in North America. Journal of
Soil and Water Conservation, 71(2), 156-164.
- Zomer, R. J., Neufeldt, H., Xu, J., Ahrends, A., Bossio, D., Trabucco, A., ... & Wang, M. (2016). Global
Tree Cover and Biomass Carbon on Agricultural Land: The contribution of agroforestry to
global and national carbon budgets. Scientific reports, 6(1), 29987.
Q: Have any of the panelists been involved in any projects that are looking to combine regenerative farming and agrivoltaics? What kinds of outcomes are they seeing or expecting?
A: Ivey just hosted a conference on the topic, which you can read more about here.
Q: Can you please comment on the tension between land use for housing versus for agriculture. Sadly, some of the best arable land in Canada is near urban centers that are desperate for housing. What are the best strategies for protecting our farmland?
A: Such an important point; this is particularly the case in Southwestern Ontario. We provide a full case study in the report showing how decisions on land usage impact farmland by provoking its disappearance.
Q: How can the voluntary carbon offset market, domestic (e.g., Alberta) and/or third-party (Verra, GS, etc.) better help channel capital into regenerative ag? Is there any existing programs that help farmers to develop these projects?
A: The role of the voluntary carbon offset market in helping to channel capital into regenerative agriculture needs to be questioned critically. Farming can be a carbon sink by using agricultural practices that increase the amount of carbon stored in the soil. There are limitations to treating agriculture like a carbon sink.
The amount of carbon stored in agricultural soils is limited by soil type, climate, and agricultural practices. The potential for carbon sequestration is highest in degraded or eroded soils, but it is still limited (Lal, Negassa, and Lorenz 2015). Carbon stored in soils can be lost due to erosion, tillage, and other factors. This can result in a net loss of carbon over time (Ontl and Schulte 2012). Some carbon sequestration practices may not be economically viable for farmers as they require long-term investments that may not yield immediate economic returns. If a primary motivation to use carbon offsetting funding for agriculture is the implementation of regenerative methods, it may be worth highlighting the role of fudning energy-reducing technologies that can reduce carbon emissions instead. Examples include energy efficient dryers and anaerobic digesters for dairy farms.
- Lal, Rattan, Wakene Negassa, and Klaus Lorenz. 2015. “Carbon Sequestration in Soil.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 15 (August): 79–86.
- Ontl, Todd A., and Lisa A. Schulte. 2012. “Soil Carbon Storage.” Nature Education Knowledge 3 (10): 35.
Q: Regenerative agriculture should be growing things well and sustainably, but also in the right place. Knowing what we know about increased drought and heat in coming decades, what role do consumers and the value chain play in promoting sensible zoning? For instance, how far north do we open lands for farming? And how do we protect aquifers considering the desire to increase irrigation?
A: Consumers in their capacity as citizens can play an indispensable role at the local level (e.g. municipal staff and elected representatives) in advocating for protections to agricultural zoning and aquifer protection. Provincial elected officials can also play a role given their responsibilities in municipal affairs and that municipalities are “creatures of the province”. There are also environmental NGOs and farmer associations that may be allies. It is difficult to answer how far north lands should be opened for farming. It is important to consider how conditions will change locally in terms of what can grow and what may not grow as well as before droughts occur. This is true in southern and northern Canada. It is worth mentioning that the Ontario government published a lengthy report in August 2023 on how climate change will affect the province and its economic sectors. The impacts on agriculture and food production are described.
Reference: Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. Ontario Provincial Climate Change Impact Assessment Technical Report Appendices, January 2023.
Q: What is the likelihood of Canada steering towards the Netherlands model of greenhouse food production?
A: It is hard to say. The nature of farming in Canada varies by region, soil, and geography. The increased presence of marginal land in eastern Ontario has led to more livestock farming than in the southwestern part of the province. Meanwhile, the Prairies have conditions that are famous for crop farming. Nevertheless, the Kingsville-Leamington area of southwestern Ontario has an important – and growing – greenhouse industry. Southwestern Ontario provides greenhouses with a central location to ship to major Canadian and U.S. markets. The greenhouse industry accounted for 14.8 per cent of Ontario’s agriculture jobs in 2021 (Job Bank 2023; Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers 2022). At the same time, we have to be careful about converting farmland with great soil quality to greenhouse facilities. A distinguishing characteristic to the Dutch model is an emphasis on energy efficiency, which must be imitated if Canada continues to grow its greenhouse industry.
- Independent Electricity System Operator. 2019. “Greenhouse Energy Profile Study.” Toronto.
Job Bank. 2023. “Agriculture: Ontario 2022-2024.” Government of Canada. February 9, 2023.
- Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers. 2022. “OGVG Fact Sheet.” Leamington, ON.
- Reiley, Laura and van Lohuizen, Kadir. “Cutting-edge tech made this tiny country a major exporter of food,” Washington Post, November 21, 2022.
- Soil Resource Group. “ONFARM Soil Health Technical Report,” March 31, 2023.
Q: What is the impact on Canadian export and import business of food products if regenerative model adds to agriculture production costs? Will it reduce competitiveness if Canadian prices are higher vs. other countries and will cheaper imports find more Canadian domestic market opportunities?
A: To your first question, it is unclear. There are Canadian farmers using cover crops whose costs have been subsidized by the federal Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund. Initiatives like these can help to offset the initial costs of practices like cover cropping or rotational grazing. A motivation for this shift includes improvements to soil health, which can help to ensure that farmers continue working on the same lands. To your second question, there are numerous factors influencing food product competitiveness. It also depends on which segment of the market a food company is competing in. We are presenting a set of regenerative agriculture practices, but farmers and companies will decide which ones suit their situations best. It is worth noting that McCain have been applying regenerative practices like cover cropping and “minimum soil disturbance” with their potato farmers in New Brunswick. McCain is a multinational selling in over 160 countries, which includes their potato products.
- Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. “Agricultural Climate Solutions – On-Farm Climate Action Fund,” August 12, 2021.
- McCain’s Regenerative Agriculture Framework. McCain Foods Limited. January 2024.
- McCain Sustainability Report 2023. McCain Foods Limited.
The Future of Agri-food Series
The Future of Agri-food series convenes key Canadian thought leaders to explore Canada’s role in the future of the agri-food system, and the key opportunities and challenges facing the sector. The series is jointly convened by the Ivey Centre for Building Sustainable Value (BSV Centre), The Ivey Academy, and the Institute for Sustainable Finance. The primary goal is to build awareness in the key networks of the partners (executive leaders in business and finance) of key opportunities and challenges in agri-food for Canada, especially the critical issues associated with the transition towards net zero.
JOHN UHREN: It's encouraging that investors are kind of starting to huddle around the idea that we can't overlook the important role that the sector plays just broadly in societal well-being.
SEAN ACKLIN GRANT: Welcome to The Ivey Academy Presents: Leadership in Practice, your source for new research, insights, and advice on critical issues in business. In this episode, produced in partnership with the Ivey Center for Building Sustainable Value and the Institute for Sustainable Finance, we discuss the role that regenerative agriculture can play in the transition to a more sustainable food system in Canada and beyond.
We're joined by John Uhren, managing director, Sustainable Finance at BMO Capital Markets, Charlie Angelakos, vice president, Global External Affairs and Sustainability at McCain Foods, and Diane-Laure Arjalies, associate professor Managerial Accounting and Control, General Management and Sustainability at Ivey business school. Listen in for a timely vibrant discussion on how the food industry and financial sector can work together to scale the adoption of more sustainable practices by producers.
We'll also unpack a new report from Ivey, Advancing Regenerative Agriculture in Canada: Barriers and Enablers, to explore Canada's role as a global leader in sustainable agriculture. This episode is hosted by Bryan Benjamin, executive director of the Ivey Academy at Ivey business school.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: My name is Bryan Benjamin, and I'm the executive director here at the Ivey Academy. Thank you so much for joining us here today. This is the second live stream in The Future of Agri-food series, which we're delivering in collaboration with our colleagues at the Ivey Center for Building Sustainable Value and the Institute for Sustainable Finance.
This series convenes key Canadian thought leaders to explore Canada's role in the future of the agri-food system and the key opportunities and challenges facing the sector. And today, we're going to explore the role that regenerative agriculture can play in the transition to a more sustainable food system and how the food industry and financial sector can help incentivize and scale the adoption of more sustainable practices by producers.
We're joined by three terrific panelists, who all have extensive expertise and experience in this field. Our first panelist is John Uhren, managing director of Sustainable Finance at BMO Capital Markets. John leads product development and strategic initiatives across the enterprise, including raising capital and providing sustainable finance opportunities to clients. He's also a member of the bank's Energy Transition Group.
Next up, Charlie Angelakos is the vice president of Global External Affairs and Sustainability at McCain Foods, where he leads the company's external communication, public affairs, and sustainability strategy across 160 countries. Before joining McCain, Charlie worked at Labatt Breweries of Canada for 18 years, most recently as vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs.
Our final panelist, Diane-Laure Arjalies, is associate professor, Managerial Accounting and Control, General Management and Sustainability right here at Ivey Business School. Her research aims to push the boundaries of knowledge and practice by investigating how the fashioning of new devices and/or collective actions can help transform markets towards sustainability. She has studied the emergence of responsible investing, conservation finance, impact assessment, integrated reporting, and alternative currencies.
To help frame our session, we're excited to welcome Professor Ryan Riordan, who is the director of Research at the Institute for Sustainable Finance. He's going to provide a more in-depth introduction and frame for our discussion today.
RYAN RIORDAN: Thanks a lot for inviting me. I feel like the wolf in sheep's clothing as the Smith School of Business interloper here at the Ivey Academy. So Institute for Sustainable Finance, what are we? Well, we are an institute that's based at the university I just mentioned. We were at the time and still-- well, I guess we are still-- the first-ever cross-cutting collaborative hub.
And the idea is that we're going to-- well, we fuse academia, private sector, and governments and really looking at Canada's sustainable finance capacity. So I think the one thing that makes us-- I don't want to say different, but at the time anyways, it was distinct, is that we really look at sustainable finance and not sustainability, more general, sustainable business, important topics, super, super important, just not what we were focused on and still not what we're focusing on.
So the institute's mission is to align mainstream financial markets with Canada's tradition-- or transition to a sustainable economy. And really, we always say, we know our job is done when we don't call it sustainable finance anymore. It's just finance. We are well supported, and some of our supporters are here, our founding contributors, BMO, CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, TD.
We also have some other supporters that I won't go into too much detail on, but they've all been extremely important, particularly the Ivey Foundation, which is the namesake of the Ivey School. Some of our pillars, and then I'll get a little bit to the CSFN and maybe a little bit to the reason why we're here.
Really, research. We've done work on the capital mobilization plan, looking at sustainability reporting in TSX firms, natural assets, carbon markets. We have a sustainable investing program. Collaboration, including the one today with the Ivey School of Business, CPA Canada, and a number outreach events like this, lectures, conferences, social media.
And then I think one of the main reasons that we're here-- I would not say the main reason. But a particular reason we're here is that we're also the convener of the Sustainable Finance Network. And the main or one of the main goals is our CSFN grant. And the CSFN grant is what we're here for today.
And so one of our first-- in fact, I think it was our inaugural grant with Diane-Laure, was on sustainable agriculture. This is the report. And I've been told that the link to the report is now live, and it's going to be in the chat and published. And the title of the report that I've read in detail myself and we're going to hear more about today, Advancing Regenerative Agriculture in Canada: Barriers, Enablers, and Suggestions.
And I think it's a really important study. I mean, we've all probably eaten at least two or three times today. I'm in Munich, Germany right now, so I'm on to my fourth meal when I get my schnitzel. But a lot of us have already eaten, so we just know how critical that is. And if you look at the importance in terms of the emissions that we have and how we can change, how we can transform what we're eating and the amount of carbon we're emitting at the same time, I think, is extremely important.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Well, thank you, Ryan. Really appreciate how you framed some of the pieces that we as humans maybe even take for granted and put a little bit more context in terms of being deliberate. It tiers up beautifully in terms of we're so excited. We've got a new report that is just out. And so I'm going to turn it over to you, Diane-Laure, who can give us a bit of a sneak peek. I know it's hard to do justice in a few minutes, but hopefully, it will pique enough interest, frame our conversation, and then everyone's going to be ready to dive into all the great details that the report provides.
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIES: Thank you. [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH] Thank you so much again to CSFN for the report. And we're not in competition. We have enough on our plate to collaborate across universities and groups. And this is really the spirit we are at Ivey.
I want to say that there are team of authors here, Jean-Francois, Michael, Emma, and myself. So I'm leading the Sustainable Finance Lab, but I'm relying on our team of researchers. And they are the ones doing a lot of work, so I really want to pay homage to that work. I'm just going to go and-- and this lab is one of the four impact labs when it comes to the BSV center.
So what is regenerative agriculture because even when we decided to keep the title, we had some conversation because it is a controversial title and people might disagree about it. So we decided to keep it because first, when we ask the question, we use this term, but also because it does lead to some specific understanding, which is basically as put the definition here, is how you want to seek and to end ecosystem.
So regeneration again comes from conservation biology, and it is about supporting life on land. And so it's more a paradigm of a way of farming, and enhancing ecosystems instead of draining the land. And right, now 40% of the land worldwide is degraded. It means that it doesn't have the organic matter that it should be having on the land, and there's a very-- there are issues because of yield of flooding and so on.
There is an abundance of science, both Western science and Indigenous science that show that regenerative agriculture is really a great practice, know and that farmers want to have a healthy land that yields can increase over time, and that can support ecosystem services. It's better for the planet, it's better for our resilience to climate change. But then when we look at the numbers, we don't see a huge adoption of regenerative practices.
So the question of the report was quite simple is that how can we explain this relative absence of adoption of regenerative practices? And I say relative because there are some farmers who adopt those practices, of course. I want to say that to do the report, we really spoke to a lot of farmers. So right now on the webinar, we have financiers because the first webinar was more about farmers, so it's a series of webinars, but it's really important to understand that who are the main actors in this development? They are the farmers.
And so what we show in the report is that basically everybody puts pressure on them, but the business model for them is not there, the institutions are not there, and basically what's it's showing this slide is that regenerative agriculture goes beyond the farm. And so what we did in this report, we say, OK, let's do a report. There's a one-to-one report for financiers, for anyone with interesting in regenerative agriculture to understand the big picture of what we're talking about.
So we adopted a systems lens, which means that we looked at the problem with a specific lens, which means we tried to get each stakeholders a right holders, and the migrant workers, the governments, the consumers, the producers, Indigenous communities, and we were trying to see what was the barriers and the enablers at each level of the value chain.
Of course, we're in the sustainable finance lab and we got a grant from CSF, and so we really focused also on the role of financing because we also work on new type of financial products, address biodiversity, and regenerative practices needs. So we really also wanted to understand that role.
If you look at the reports it's a dense report. Don't be afraid. There's an executive summary, they're going to be a full deck online, there's going to be policy briefs, but we really met the report, so you have the latest evidence-based research, evidence-based arguments. So you can really dig into the numbers, dig into what's going on in Canada, get best practices wherever you are in the value chain if you are a government, if you're a producer, if you're an investor.
Key recommendations, and I think there's like five points. Clearly, we suggest that we need to advance clarity around regenerative agriculture, and it's a paradigm of farming. So what we show is, of course, nobody really agrees on what regenerative practices are because they're going to vary according to the land you are farming on. You're not going to address-- you're not going to enhance ecosystem the same way, if you're in New Brunswick or if you're in Manitoba.
Saying that, it's important that we have some key principles and we agree on that so that people can start working together and avoid greenwashing practices, for instance. The second key element is the need to advance accounting for nature's value.
A lot of food producers say that they put pressures on farmers to farm adequately and do more regenerative practices, but the truth is that when it comes to the incentives, they're not there. Basically, the farmers carry the risk, they carry the cash flows at the beginning to transform their practices, and tests are arising between five to seven years really to get the new type of value model come.
And so we need to advance and develop new type of ways to account for this nature value, and also to finalize it, which goes back to the need for an inclusive financial infrastructure, we need to think about innovative thinking and hybrid approaches here, probably looking at concessional finance with the public and private financing for the beginning, probably thinking about a shared value across the value chain, which means maybe bringing the food producers, the consumers like really to try to get a systems approach to the issue because once again the farmers won't solve the problem alone.
The first point, which is really, really important is that the farming is one of the few industries where the increasing number of migrants raise a lot of social issues. Migrant workers are not that well respected, and this is a bit of a big issue because they're the ones who carry the industry. That's a big problem.
And the other issue as well is that regenerative practices have been associated a lot with Indigenous practices, and for a very long time, they've been excluded as the same with Black farmers. So what we find in the report is that we won't be able to transition our farming industry and agricultural industry if we don't look at the social justice lens. Since it's a systemic change, a lot of is based on cultural assumptions based in the '70s with the assumption of progress and modernization, industrial farming. We also need to embrace a just transition.
So we have some sections on that migrant workers Indigenous ways of practicing farming and Black farmers as well. And I guess you understood the key message. I think the key message of the report is really a call for systems-level solution, a call for people now to sit down at the table and really to take it seriously because it's not only a food safety, a food security, it's not only just transition, it's also climate resiliency and the independence of Canada in the future. So it's a really, really important topic.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Thank you. I can't wait for our participants here to go into more detail, and I think you did a great job of framing what was a lot of work by a lot of people that's going to provide I think some real tremendous insights. So John, Charlie, I'll let you arm-wrestle who's going to dive in first, initial reactions to some of the recommendations that Diane-Laure just hit on. John.
JOHN UHREN: Sure. I'm happy to jump in first, Brian. Thank you, and kudos to the Ivey Academy, to the CSF and, of course, Diane-Laure, to you congratulations. This report looks fantastic. I think in terms of initial reactions just from the high-level overview you gave, I think you've done a great job of really looking at it from an inclusive lens. You talked about systems level adoption, and why the slower adoption of regenerative practices is not a farmer or a producer problem.
We have to look up and down the value chain and all the way through to the consumer, and start thinking about creating the right types of incentives for success for the various players, and you talked about a timing issue a little bit around the misalignment between some implementation of regenerative practices and the returns.
And we see this time and again where farmers may see a bit of a lag or even a decline in profits from when they first make those initial investments, and until they start turning over the medium to longer term turning into profits in the form of decreased input and labor costs as well as increased revenue from crop rotations improved soil health, et cetera, I think bridging that gap on timing is critical from a financing perspective, and blended finance is one option.
And Diane-Laure, you mentioned concessionary financing from the public sector perhaps that can maybe tilt the risk mitigating-- the risk mitigation and really enhance and crowd in public and private capital rather. I think it's a good time now the Canadian government, through its sustainable Ag strategy, as well as through money earmarked through the Canadian growth fund for decarbonization initiatives, I think there's a lot of focus on it from the public sector and now it's time for the private sector to fill that back load and really make sure we're getting capital and incentives to the right players at the right time.
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: Yeah, absolutely and thank you. It's great to be here with everybody talking about regenerative agriculture. It's actually something that we are extremely passionate about from McCain. We built our business in partnership with our farmer partners, and for us regenerative agriculture is really working in partnership with our farmers to mitigate climate change but at the same time build a resilient food supply chain for the future for us.
And kudos on the report. I think it lays out quite clearly what we all collectively need to do in the value chain to get to a much better place to implement regenerative agriculture with great urgency.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Thank you Thank you both John and Charlie for some of your initial comments. Diane-Laure, I want to pick up on something really important that you mentioned, which is the voice of the farmer, and how the voice of the farmer is incorporated in our previous livestream, but throughout this work and throughout this sort of process, if you will.
So the concept of regenerative agriculture is sometimes seen as contentious within farming community. Can you elaborate a little bit on what that means and sort of maybe where it could go in the future?
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIÈS: Yeah, and there was a question in the Q&A as well, so I'll put the link to the definition. So we did in a report-- we did a proper literature review of the terms, and we haven't found a meta analysis of 265 surveys that show the different usage of the term. So for sure, there's not a common use, and people might say sustainable agriculture or organic agriculture, so there's some distinction between those.
Again, when you have to remember is basically in the paradigm of industrial agriculture as we know it in Canada, but also in France, for instance, is really based on industrial farming. So even the way the government categorizes land use, they have a classification. It's based on the ability to use industrial farming machineries to farm the land. That's the main concept because this is what efficiency looked like when we developed it in the '70s.
The organic matter of course, is part of it but it's not the core of the classification and persons by the government. So what we mean by regenerative is instead of extracting and trying to just look at the production and the how easy is to get yields and we have to feed ourselves, that's why we have industrial farming, it's looking at the life within the land.
The organic matter there, how the ecosystems are working, which means that right now, governments and Canada and other countries, they committed to 30 by 30, which means they want to protect 30% of lands and water by 2030 for climate resiliency. The way we'll do that is through farming.
The farmland is one of the key lands we need to enhance from an ecological resiliency mode because this is where we're going to achieve that, not by protecting national parks up north. It's by helping of farmers really new brands and money to buy Ontario BC [INAUDIBLE].
We also included ranchers, of course, in our report and so to do that, we need to think about farming as both a way to feed ourselves and produce the crops and of course give a good living, a standard of living to our farmers, but also about valuing the role of farmers and land stewards, land caretakers, and also for the ecosystem valuation services that offer to us.
And at this point, no one with some exception, I'm looking at Charlie right now, but no one is really paying for those services. So it's a typical-- what we call the Tragedy of the Commons. Everyone is benefited. Everyone's committed to it, but no one is ready to change the business model and the value chain and the valuation model to really price this. And so this is what we're looking at right now. And this is also why, at Ivey, we took farming as the key industry. We look for carbon reasons, of course, but because we think it's the key, key industry to trigger change.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Charlie, let's hear a little bit about McCain. Given the size and scope of your great organization and the role that producers play, so you touched on it a bit, but a little bit more around how you're sort of defining sort of regenerative agriculture as it relates to the relationships that you have with producers.
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: Sure. Absolutely. First, let me start by saying that the importance of regenerative agriculture at McCain arose out of the urgent need for climate action, increasingly as a business, over time, we would have had a bad crop year sort of every 10 years. You never knew that it was coming, and you just deal with it within the business.
And what we found over the past decade we were having multiple bad crops in one year, and those were all related to climate, whether it was drought or flooding or wildfires, so that we knew we had to take action. So what we did was we commissioned a climate change study to build the case for change for the way we would do business and the need to adapt for the long term. And the climate study really showed the reality of a food system by 2050, and we really knew that we had to act with great urgency and immediacy.
So that really set the stage for a commitment that all our acreage by 2030 will be 100% farmed regeneratively. So at the end of the day, the climate emergency is something that made us galvanize and focus on what we needed to do. At the end of the day again, we built our business in partnership with our farmer base, and this is really about mitigating climate change and building a resilient supply chain for the future.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: And thank you for speaking to the realities of what was once in 100 years, once in 10 years. Feels like it happened last year, and so it's just it's so much more volatile and we need to have that forward-looking view. John, from an investor standpoint, it would be great to hear some of your perspectives. I know BMO is doing a lot of really important work in this space. What are some of your thoughts?
JOHN UHREN: Yeah, and we are-- and it's a priority for us, Brian. We are really focused on supporting the rural communities throughout North America, but just picking up on what Charlie said around McCain's imperative for action i.e. to have all acreage by 2030 implementing regenerative practices, it was like you said a climate urgency.
There was commercial reasons up and down their supply chain that they had to do this, that they made this announcement, and frankly that's-- as BMO looks at it, that's the same lens that we're looking at it through as well, is we can't be on the sidelines and say this is someone else's problem or this is something for another day or someone else to solve.
We're 206-year-old bank, I believe, and through that time we've supported rural Canada in a variety of ways, but principally through financing. And I think if we want to continue that into the future, we have to take into the realities and the risks that we see today, and project them out into the future and do our best to help our clients mitigate those risks.
But from an investor perspective, there isn't there isn't a definition of regenerative agriculture that everyone agrees on. And to me or to BMO anyway, it's really around thinking of different practices and farming in ways that enhance ecosystems, be it through water, biodiversity, soil, et cetera.
But I also think that focus on social considerations that Diane-Laure mentioned, things like just transition, ensuring the health of rural Canada, thinking about migrant workers, their health and safety and prosperity, as well as honoring traditions of Indigenous peoples, those parts the social considerations, they do often get lost in some of the discussion of regenerative agriculture and what sustainable agriculture looks like into the future.
For investors if you're looking at this very Black and white agriculture, I think it's 10% of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions come from the Ag sector, which is frankly lower proportion than a lot of other countries, but nevertheless still high.
So I think there's a bit of a stigma around the sector at times from investors, but the good news is there's a lot of great work going on both within Canada and beyond, and namely, there's a public private coalition that's putting together what's called the National Index on Agrifood Performance that's really laying out science-based definitions of what constitutes sustainability in the Ag sector, principally across the environment through an economic lens, from a food integrity and food security perspective, as well as societal well-being.
So they've published a couple of reports and BMO has been involved in those to date, so trying to define what sustainable Ag looks like. And then in the public markets, we've seen we saw $18 billion worth of sustainable debt issued last year by agriculture issuers as well as food and beverage. That was on the back of 22 billion the year before. That was on the back of $45 billion in sustainable debt in 2021.
Green bonds use of proceeds bonds where borrowers are using the proceeds to finance different sustainable Ag practices. We've also seen a lot of sustainability linked loans. We actually structured one in 2021 with saputo as $1 billion loan where the interest that saputo paid on the loan could be reduced if they achieved certain targets related to greenhouse gas emission intensity reduction, as well as their water usage.
So we see these innovative products that are out there. No question. We need to see more of them, and that this is obviously the nut to crack, but it's encouraging that investors are kind of starting to huddle around the idea that we can't overlook the important role that the Ag sector plays just broadly in societal well-being, and the important role, of course.
And so I think it's one where we're going to see investors to continue to a focus even if their definitions of what constitutes regenerative Ag may be a little different, we still see the need to purchase these bonds and invest in these companies that are doing right.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: I think your comment around the need to be perfect in terms of a perfectly aligned definition could cause inertia, so let's kind of work with what we have, and let's make the most of it, and let's learn and let's try these creative new approaches to incent and to recognize and reward. I it'd be great to hear a little bit more Charlie from McCain's standpoint, and I'm to come back to you Diane-Laure.
Given the relationship McCain has with producers, are you thinking about incentives, or what is that relationship kind of look like as you move forward to try to create the desired outcomes that we're looking for here?
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: First and foremost, we are fortunate as a company again that we have a direct to farmer relationship with all our growers, whereas some other companies might work through brokers. So we have the ability to discuss firsthand and listen to the needs of our farmers, and that would divide your question into sort of two answers. The
First piece is financial incentives that will help with the transition. We do know that there will be a cost for this, and someone's going to have to bear the cost, especially in the early years before a grower starts seeing the full benefits of regenerative agriculture. So what we've done is in different parts of the world, we've entered into arrangements with different banks for our growers where they could get preferential rates on loans, or loans would be backstopped as an example.
So in Europe, we have partnerships with Rabobank and Crédit Agricole in France and Canada, we've entered into an arrangement with Farm Credit Canada to associate our farmers with those transitions.
It's not one size fits all, so there are other arrangements where in different parts of the world, we enter into contractual arrangements with our growers that they get a long term contract if they regeneratively farm with a premium on top of that from a contract perspective. So we are working hard to give our farmers the tools they need to make the transition along the way.
And then the second part of this, there's an education component. We need to give our growers the training they need, and also examples that regenerative agriculture work. So in addition to the financing aspect we do have an education component.
So we've launched three farms of the future-- we've committed to three farms of the future, we've launched two of them. The first one is in New Brunswick, and the second one is in South Africa. And what these are, they are commercial grade farms that McCain runs on our own where we are practicing different regenerative techniques, and we're trialing them and proving that it actually works.
Some techniques are successful, some do not work, but at the end of the day, we're bearing the responsibility so that our grower can get the benefits of this. But at the same time, if we fail, the grower does not have to fail. And the way we've set these farmers of the future up is in New Brunswick. That is a one growing season farm, whereas in South Africa it's four growing seasons.
So at the end of the day, what happens on the farm in South Africa, we can export those best practices into Latin America, and what happens in New Brunswick, it can be in other parts of the world as well in its early days, but we are proving that these techniques work, our climate outcomes are quite good, and our yields are either flat or growing.
So we are very bullish about what we are working on, but at the same time, we need to work collectively to scale these practices so that we can not only hit our commitment, but help others along their journey to regenerative agriculture as well.
JOHN UHREN: I could just jump in really quickly on that point, Charlie. The education piece is brilliant, and I really encourage that McCain takes that seriously. We've seen that in the private sector with some other corporates as well.
I don't know if this group saw but Nutrien and Bunge entered into a commercial arrangement-- so Nutrien, a Canadian company-- last year where Nutrien is effectively filling that education gap with some of Bunge's farmers around doing things like crop consulting services and applications of fertility and chemistry, and even things like analytical testing of soil and water, et cetera.
And in exchange, Bunge is essentially saying we'll work with the same farmers on offtakes effectively. So manage harvest and post-harvest commercialization based on the education and implementation that Nutrien is able to educate their farmers on.
And so I think when you see these types of commercial arrangements come in as well, you start to see the flywheel effect where you can actually be economically quite advantageous to implement these types of initiatives, and that's where you start to see the returns more near-term than delayed like I was mentioning earlier.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Yeah, thank you. Thank you for those comments, and I appreciate that the dichotomy here where we're looking to achieve scale and recognizing that a one size fits all approach is just not in the cards, but also the appreciative piece around-- there is a transition period right it's not going to be here today, there tomorrow, and the transition period often requires time, resources, money, investment, and so forth to appreciate the creative approaches that are being tested in different parts of the world.
Diane-Laure, from your perspective you know what would you like to see? How do we keep this momentum as we do look to achieve scale and support and incentivize as we move along?
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIÈS: I want to push back John a bit. I think accounts for the financing of regenerative agriculture was a bit optimistic. Beside FCC really, from Credit Canada and we have put incentives and it's still small loans and small mortgages, I don't think we can say that the Canadian investment industry has really supported regenerative agriculture so far. And there are good reasons for that is because agriculture is not the best investment when you want to get great returns. Especially right now when we have a high level of inflation and high market rates, farmers cannot generate cash, like, crazy cash.
This is something that we have to be aware of. So they have a limited amount of cash flows that can give to their investors. And so when we are in this type of market right now, of course, this is not where they might want to go as a forefront, I will say. So that's also like fundamental issues with the way market have been designed.
Also one of the potential solution will have to say co-benefits. So again ecosystem valuation services that do offer, and we have priced those. So we know the amount of services, what's the value offered by farmers to Canadians and to the government, to insurance companies. So it's billions.
But this billions are not being transformed into cash flows again. They might reduce risk, they might reduce spending, but in insurance company and governments and municipalities or health care because we know also that having good farmland brings more mental health as well. So the benefits are distributed, and no one can really appropriate this value. So that is a main issue we face right now.
So again, my main suggestion will be-- this is more the sustainable finance lead was going to speak here is that if you really want to solve this problem, we really need to sit down with different peoples across the value chain, BMO, Miking, the farmers and say, OK, we have this value of benefits here. How are we going to value that? How are we going to pay the farmers for that? How are we going to be sure that it's being recognized in our valuation models?
And we not only looking at the cash flows of the interest rates of the market so far, but that's requires a systems lens again, that's requires a time horizon that's going to be longer, and it also requires to expand the way we value success.
And so I will encourage the investors on the call as well to really think about the portfolio. You need a portfolio and you need farmers to work in farmland to be healthy if you want your investment in real estate to be healthy as well. So this is what we really need to think about to expand our scope.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: A couple of themes that have come up for me, and this is one that's quite relevant in Canada is population growth, and we're going through a period of rapid population growth. What are the potential risks, but also the potential upside opportunities that this creates when we think about regenerative agriculture and what we're aspiring to here in Canada? I'm going to put that one out there and I'm going to see who wants to pick up the mic first and tackle the impact of population growth on our discussion here today.
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIÈS: I can speak up, but this a little food safety is really important right now, especially marginalized communities to have access to nutritious foods. What is really important as well. When we go to regenerative agriculture is to look at the nutrition, like how nutritious the food is because if you produce crops that are poor quality, maybe they're cheaper, but basically they're not functioning as they should.
And so what also we point to the report, and I know it's going to be a controversial statement here, but a lot of farmland is being used for bioethanol, and a lot of farmland is being used crops notably in Quebec to feed parks. So there's also a collective questions about what are we using the farmland for? We speak right now with the assumption that all the crops, all the farmland is being used to feed humans, but it is not the case.
So I think the bigger picture is not only about price, it's about nutrition, the quality of the food we are being fed, and that matters, access for marginalized communities, so it means closer. We need to get farmland close to the urban areas. The more we build the more we-- I'm in Toronto right now. The bigger it becomes, the more expensive it is to access food. We know that, so we need to protect our green belt, we need to protect the farmlands, but also we need to question our usage of the land right now.
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: Yeah, and I would say we know that by 2050, we must increase our food production by a quarter just to maintain our contribution. You know as the world's population swells, so really regenerative agriculture practices are really about protecting the land from an environmental perspective, and also to build a bulletproof resilient food supply chain for years to come.
So unless we take direct action on this, not just from a climate perspective but also equip our farmers with new tools to combat climate change, but at the same time build a more resilient system, that's how we're going to get there from a population perspective.
JOHN UHREN: Yeah, and then the only other thought I'd layer on is around the need for technological advancement. That could be in the form of farm management tools, it could be new crop varietals, it could be like cost-effective measurement technologies, et cetera.
But I think, ultimately, like we've seen a lot of advancement in technology in the Ag space specifically, but I think if we want to continue at this pace and grow, I think we're going to need to see more, and this is where the investment dollars need to flow to as well to Diane-Laure's point. Maybe they're lagging right now, maybe they're difficult to value, but it needs to get to the right places so that we are well-equipped to then feed a growing population.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Now, thank you. And we couldn't go through an hour without talking about the impact of technology and the rapid advancements that it's going to create, and so it certainly provides an opportunity in the equation here. I'm going to shift us up a little bit here, and actually, Ryan, in his opening remarks, mentioned something that's worth repeating, is collaborations and partnerships.
And so it's great to have somebody join us from the Smith School of Business and collaborating with Ivey Business School. We look at McCain, we look at BMO, we look at different players coming together. This is not a problem that people can solve independently, working independently. We need to find more partnerships and more collaboration opportunities.
So my question is very simply is, how can multi-sector partnerships support us as we move this forward? And are there partnerships that are already showing some successes or maybe some early signs of potential successes? And then the second part I'll come back to but I'll put it out there so the wheels can turn is, are there potential partnerships that are not yet in play that you'd like to see in the future to move this forward? So, what are some partnerships that we're seeing that are helping us move the needle here?
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: Well, we're moving forward and we have our commitment but it's very important that we work on things through collaboration. So here in Canada, we've launched a soil fund with McDonald's Canada, which gives out grants to our farmer base on giving them financial grants to implement regenerative practices, and that would just be-- might be one.
We have different pilots that are happening around the world in different parts of the world with various actors within the value chain, which is what is needed, and think by working in partnership we can test the theory and different actors in the value chain. All have a role to play, whether it's the grower, government, financial institutions, and manufacturers to show that we can collectively work together because for us, this isn't about a competitive advantage, it's about all of us working together collectively to advance regenerative agriculture, and get us to a much better place overall for a brighter future in food production.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Yeah, the reality is nobody wins if we don't get this right, and that seems to be the bigger risk. And so I appreciate the collaboration comments. Diane-Laure, partnerships that you've seen or would like to see in the future.
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIÈS: So we took in own hands guess at Ivey, so we decided to spur collaborative projects. So we are forming a big team right now with other schools as well, and also partners like Ontario Soil Network, Transition Accelerators, and our goal is to do a large randomized control trial to really measure and see whether the innovation towards regenerative agriculture could help advance practices.
So our goal is really to form communities of practices, to form collaborations, and to test that to see whether this has an impact on farm practices, whether there's increased adoption, whether there's an increase of [INAUDIBLE], and we want to do that because we want to collaborate with other practitioners, but also university and natural scientists and social scientists, but also because there's a lack of research on this topic.
And so if we believe that the communities and the networks and the collaboration is key, technology is key, of course, but if collaboration is key, then we really need to test it and show whether it works or not. At least we can learn from it. So we are starting a pilot in September, and we really welcome anyone who wants to join us in this incredible journey led by BSV and Jury Gualandris to really, really catch up with us. We'll be happy to welcome you on board. So, yes, we're doing a part for collaboration.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: John, maybe can sort of frame this a little bit more specifically in terms of the partnership around the government's new sustainable agriculture strategy, and the impact and potential for private investment in sustainable agriculture if you will. Can you provide some perspective on that for us?
JOHN UHREN: Sure. So the sustainable Ag strategy was published by agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. They just put out last year what we heard, paper which was really going back and going to a number of different stakeholders getting some inputs and feedback around some of the different levers and pillars that the government should be thinking about in the sustainable Ag space.
And I think-- they made a series of recommendations coming out of that, what we heard process all with an economic lens around the opportunity. And a few that I thought were really relevant looking at obviously direct and indirect financial incentives, really thinking about the cost of an option of regenerative Ag practices, the return on investment, which has come up a few times today, it's clearly front of mind and implementing some of these strategies, and really trying to put a value on the goods and services being created and the impact on nature, full stop.
And that is the nut to crack. It wasn't necessarily saying we have the answer as the government of Canada, but we need to start thinking about these financial incentives and the role the private sector plays specifically to get us to where we need to on the sustainable Ag side.
They also talked a lot about market-based approaches which I thought was good, including actually partnerships and collaborations, and really using their new strategy to really create new standards that will enable these partnerships and give them some clarity around what environmentally sustainable choices across the Agri-Food supply chain can look like, and then sort of building and layering in the role of the private sector, particularly through things like financial products.
So we think a lot about this at BMO as well where we've talked about loans, we've talked about bonds a little bit, but there have to be-- there has to be some innovation in the products that we provide and the ways that we finance our clients.
We think about things like stackable finance and insurance products, for example. Think about things like cost-sharing agreements, either with the bank or we're facilitating alongside like consumer goods companies, for example. Long-term purchase agreements or offtakes, even carbon credits.
And biodiversity credits are another one that are starting to get a little bit of momentum, but the way that you can incentivize certain nature-based solutions and implementations that farmers are taking by providing them with an additional revenue stream in the form of a voluntary carbon credit, that's something that we think about a lot, and we know the Canadian government does as well because they've alluded to it in their sustainable Ag strategy.
So I'm encouraged that this-- what we heard document is out there. I look forward to really digesting it and understanding what this means for us and the innovative ways that we can support our clients.
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: And I would say as we look at this, not just in Canada but by-and-large, I think gone are the days where it was the Ministry of Agriculture that would deal with the farmer, and that would be the solve-all for everything. I think we need to look things at things holistically through government, and ensure that there's the proper table that the Ministry of Finance has a role to play, agriculture has a role to play, and the environment minister has a role to play as well.
So it's really about integrating the full gambit and value chain within the government, and pulling all the levers that government has at its disposal to help us scale right out of the gate.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: And appreciate that perspective is different stakeholder groups coming together in new ways. Right it's not this sort of linear-- this group deals with this issue, and that group deals with that issue. We need to bring multiple perspectives to the table, which is going to create lots of new opportunities, but also recognize there's challenges associated with that too.
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: That's right, and that's why partnerships are important. Like in Canada, there is CANZA, the Canadian Alliance for Net Zero Agriculture, that just launched with farmers, producers, banking actors along the way so that we can speak with a united voice with the government so that we can work in partnership as we work towards our mutual goals.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: So thank you. I'm going to throw one out because time is flying. So I'm going to see if anyone here is willing to, in 60 seconds or less, tackle the other big one that we knew would come up at some point in our discussion, which is housing and land, and the balance between need to create more housing, need for appropriate land use as it relates to agriculture.
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIÈS: Yeah, we've been really, really vocal as well at IRB. We went to-- the Ontario government wanted to clear the Greenbelt. We actually wrote a report and sent it to elected officials so there could be aware of it. And the results-- and so a big part of the report as well is that about the disappearance of farmland. So this is a big issue, especially like in region like Southwestern Ontario. It's less of a problem in other regions like Manitoba, Saskatchewan where it's more like-- the problem is more like they become very big farms, and it's really difficult for farmers to really be into the market.
But yes, there's a huge conversation about again farmland and urbanization, but I think we should not see them in competition. Again there's a way we show that having farmland close to urban areas is a benefit to the urban areas for food safety, food production. We do have solutions as well. We put the solutions in other reports that we share with the government. We can densify the usage of our lands, look at what Europe does. They can put more people in less space. We have also net zero urban transition as well.
So again, I think it's a way to put farmland against development, which is not an accurate way of saying if you get a systems lens, you understand that you have to work in pair and be sure that you protect farmland and biodiversity, of course.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Thank you. Charlie, John, Diane-Laure, in 30 seconds or less, any sort of final takeaway or one thing that you'd hope our audience sort of walks away from our very interactive and informative discussion here today?
JOHN UHREN: I will happily because for me, there's no plan B. We don't have a backup plan here. We don't have a plan to say we could stop producing food, and we can expect to continue to feed a growing population in Canada. I mean, farming is the original form of sustainability. It's working with the land, it's working with the food to produce and create the food that we then consume.
And I think it's over to us in the private sector and, of course, we've talked about blended, we've talked about a few structures that pull in the public sector as well, but from a private sector perspective, we have to be there alongside our clients because as we're all Canadians, we-- and I think Ryan said he's on his fourth meal of the day in Germany, but we all need to be really intentional about ensuring we have the right incentives in place to ensure we can continue to feed ourselves.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: And you're right it's everything from-- it's such a broad topic and the whole sort of thread of food security and a growing population. Thank you. Really quick, Charlie. Thoughts.
CHARLIE ANGELAKOS: Yeah, just thanks for the opportunity today. This is really about partnership for us to get to a better place. It is actually central to ensuring our viability going forward. I do want to talk about the importance of our farmers and to thank our farmers for everything that they do. At the end of the day, we built our business in partnership with the farmers, and as our founder said, if we don't get the agronomy right, nothing else matters. And this is really a case of getting the agronomy right to set us up for the future so that we can have a viable sustainable food supply chain in the years to come.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Diane-Laure, over to you. Last comments.
DIANE-LAURE ARJALIÈS: Yeah, just want to thank everyone who's been so engaged in the chat. It's been a really, really active chat. And I just want to say it's everyone's responsibility. We're all food consumers, and we really need to show our support and love for our farmers who look after us and it's a tough job. So I think I really invite everyone now just to have a look at what they eat and what they buy and just try to make a little difference in the daily basis.
BRYAN BENJAMIN: Amazing. If people weren't excited for the report before, hopefully they're even more excited now. Charlie, John, Diane-Laure, thank you for your time here today. It was a really great discussion. As always, I learned something new as well.
SEAN ACKLIN GRANT: Thank you for tuning in to Leadership in Practice. We'd like to thank our guests John Aaron, Charlie Angelakos, and Diane-Laure Arjaliès. Leadership in Practice is produced by Joanna Shepherd and me, Sean Acklin Grant.
Editing and audio mix by Carol Eugene Park. If you like this episode, make sure to subscribe. You can also find more information by visiting Ivey academy.com, or follow us on social media at IveyAcademy for more content, upcoming events, and programs. We hope you'll join us again soon.